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"We didn't attack Muslims," LTTE's Elilan claims

Dec 19 (AT) LTTE's Trincomalee district political wing leader Elilan has alleged that 'hidden hands' were hell bent on destroying the good relationship between the Tamil and Muslim communities for their own 'petty gains'. more..

The SLMM attitude not satisfactory– Air Marshal Donald Perera

Dec 19 (LT) Air Marshal Donald Perera has informed the Chiefs of the Security Forces the SLMM attitude at various incidents is not satisfactory. He has mentioned that the SLMM will just condemn the incident favouring the Wanni tigers. He has pointed out even the recent incident when the Wanni tigers shot the Air Force helicopter the SLMM reaction is quizzical. more..

Layers of Iron ore adequate for 100 years found in Moneragala

Dec 19 (LT) According to Dr Athula Senaratne, Senior Lecturer at Geological Division of the Peradeniya University layers of iron ore across four square kilometers is found in Buttala, Moneragala. He says if this resource is utilized properly around 150 metric tons of iron could be produced. more..

Fishing Trawlers Set Ablaze

Dec 19 (LM) Two fishing trawlers belonging to Muslim fishermen have been set ablaze in the lagoon in Erukalampaddy in Mannar by unidentified miscreants resulting in mounting of tension between two communities of the area. more..

India’s New Moves for Sri Lanka’s

Dec 19 (LM) Amidst growing controversy within the UPFA government over Norway's duel roles as peace facilitator and ceasefire monitor, India seems to have embarked on a major diplomatic role to bring about political stability in the island. more..

Year 2006 will be declared as the year to promote local food production

Dec 19 (SLBC) Minister Meithreepala Sirisena says next year will be declared as the year to promote local food production. Speaking at the budget debate in parliament this morning the minister also pointed out the need to a national agricultural policy. more..

Air Force wants immediate probe on chopper attack

Dec 19 (PIS) The Air Force yesterday urged the Norwegian government to launch an immediate probe into the attack on an Air Force helicopter by suspected LTTE cadres last Wednesday. Air Force Commander Donald Perera told the Daily Mirror, Norway as the facilitator in the Sri Lankan peace process had the right to intervene in the matter. more..

Truce Monitoring activities endangered -SLMM

Dec 19 (PIS) Sri Lanka's Ceasefire Monitoring Mission yesterday said that Wednesday's attack on an SLAF helicopter in an uncleared area had placed its truce monitoring activities in grave peril. The SLAF helicopter was attacked on Wednesday in an area controlled by the LTTE while more..

Tamils to form a united front; seeks LTTE nod

Dec 19 (ANN) Political parties representing Tamils of Indian origin have initiated talks aimed at forming an alliance of Tamil speaking minorities outside the north and east of Sri Lanka. The crisis-ridden CWC is reportedly leading these efforts and have already approached Upcountry Peoples’ Front leader P. Chandrasekaran and Western Province Peoples’ Front chief Mano Ganeshan. more..

Plans finalised for tsunami anniversary

Dec 19 (SAMN) The Government will implement religious programmes from December 26 to 31 in memory of victims of the tsunami disaster. The Christmas day on December 25 and religious ceremonies on January 1 should not be mixed with these religious programmes, a Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry release said. more..

Vital STF unit disbanded?

Dec 19 (SAMN) The special task unit operated under the police Special Task Force had been reportedly disbanded a few days ago. A member attached to the unit said it was established days after the assassination of High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya had served to curb underworld operations including drug trafficking. more..

UNP, Govt. trade charges over Karuna link

Dec 19 (LNP) Senior UNP MP P. Dayaratne has urged the government to probe claims that the Mahinda Rajapakse`EDs camp used Karuna faction to its advantage at the recently concluded presidential polls. Claiming that several UPFA politicians took LTTE-Karuna rift to their advantage, the Ampara District MP claimed that the UNP on several occasions warned the government of its short-sighted policy vis a vis the rebel faction. more..

More than 100 taken in on `Stranger`s Night`

Dec 19 (LNP) More than 100 suspicious people were taken into custody following a massive cordon and search operation code-named `Strangers Night` in Wellawatta, Narahenpita, Kirulapone and Bambalapitiya police areas, police said yesterday. more..

`Tea Man` swapping ginger for chillies

Dec 19 (LNP) Ceylon Workers` Congress leader Arumugam Thondaman is said to be going hell for leather to forge an alliance with the LTTE. Those who may have thought young Arumugam at least had one millionth of his grandfather`s political maturity and sagacity, stand corrected. more..

Bus services from railway stations

Dec 19 (DN) In a bid to provide a faster ride to commuters Transport Minister A. H. M. Fowzie has decided to commence bus services from railway stations islandwide. Accordingly, buses are to be deployed from each railway station to transport commuters alighting from trains to their respective destinations. more..

One year after tsunami, Sri Lanka tourism bounces back gradually

Dec 19 (Xinhua) Bathing in cozy afternoon sunshine, a few foreign tourists sat leisurely beside the swimming pool of Serendib Leisure Hotel in Bentota, a tourist resort once badly damaged during last year's killer tsunami. more..

France, Sri Lanka sign governmental Financial Protocol

Dec 19 (Xinhua) France and Sri Lanka signed a Financial Protocol relating to the extension of 10 million euros of soft loan (12 million US dollars) to Sri Lanka for the Water Supply Scheme, Daily News said in Colombo Monday. more..

Missing tsunami children still haunt parents

Dec 19 (AFP) In the jungles of Sri Lanka's rebel-controlled north, parents almost one year after the tsunami continue to scour Tamil Tiger training camps hoping to find their missing children. In the tourist-oriented government-controlled south, parents have by and large accepted that their sons and daughters who vanished when the giant waves ravaged the tropical island are not coming back. more..

Harbhajan spins it India's way

Dec 19 (CI) Harbhajan Singh racked the Sri Lankan top order, taking 4 for 24 as Sri Lanka limped to 131 for 5 in reply to India's 398. It was a frustrating day for them: first, their bowlers failed to skittle out the remaining Indian batsmen, who added 151 to the overnight score of 247 for 6, more..

Tiger rebels face troops in rainy east

Dec 19 (Reuters) Wearing black ponchos against the rain and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, Tamil Tiger rebels man a checkpoint just a few hundred metres from Sri Lankan government lines. In the aftermath of a 2002 ceasefire that halted two decades of war, Nordic truce monitors brought the opposing sides together for frequent meetings. more..

Lankan Prez and Indian Origin Tamil leader patch up

Dec 19 (HT) Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Indian Origin Tamils' leader Arumugan Thondaman on Sunday reached "cordiality" after many months of conflict in which the two leaders had taken steps to frighten each other. more..

Army clashes with protesters, one shot

Dec 19 (Reuters) Sri Lankan troops and protesters clashed in the minority Tamil-dominated Jaffna peninsula on Monday, with one person shot and wounded and each side accusing the other of trying to provoke further violence. The army said it had fired into the air after protesters incited by Tamil Tiger rebels attacked checkpoints with stones. more..

Resurgence of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism

Dec 19 (HT) Sri Lanka is now seeing an effervescent anti-Portuguese movement, with articles being written in the papers, and seminars being held under the auspices of prestigious institutions, on the perceived ill-effects of Portuguese rule, which spanned over 150 years from 1505 to 1658. more..

New military top brass responsible for Jaffna attacks- Vice Chancellor

Dec 19 (TN) Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Professor C. Mohanadas charged the newly sworn-in top brass of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) for unleashing troopers on a peaceful demonstration. "This is a worst form of politically motivated military tactic," he said addressing a press meet held at the Jaffna Campus Student Union offices at 5 p.m. Monday. more..

Parliament passes President's budget

Dec 19 (Reuters) Parliament passed new President Mahinda Rajapakse's inaugural budget by 119 votes to 15 against, with only the rebel Tigers' political proxies the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) voting against it. The opposition United National Party and Ceylon Workers Congress both abstained, allowing easy passage for a populist budget more..

Mediators urge Tigers to end violence

Dec 20 (Reuters) The co-chairs of a group monitoring Sri Lanka's peace process called on Monday on the island's Tamil Tiger rebels to put an immediate end to violence, warning of unspecified serious consequences otherwise. The meeting between the European Union, Norway, Japan and the United States -- the four co-chairs of a 2003 more..

6 Tales of Courage

Dec 20 (Time) When the tsunami hit the eastern Sri Lankan town of Thirukkovil, just before 9 a.m. on Dec. 26 last year, Father Ranjeevan Xavier cut short morning Mass at St. Joseph's, told his congregation to head for higher ground, tucked his cassock into his sash and ran toward the sea a few hundred meters away. more..

Why Thondaman wants an alliance with LTTE? -Yogarajan explains

Dec 20 (LeN) Mahinda Rajapaksa administration is trying to cause a rift in the Ceylon Workers Congress and to drive away plantation workers away from the party, CWC Vice Chairman R.Yogarajan alleged. "If we were removed, our place will be taken by the LTTE", he noted. more..

Facelift for anti-terror act

Dec 20 (LeN) The Anti-terrorism which became dormant with the cease-fire agreement will be reactivated, senior advisor to the Defence Ministry on police affairs H.M.G.B.Kotakadeniya told 'Lanka e News'. He added that the police do not make proper use of the powers vested with them by the Penal Code to conduct searches, make arrests and carry out investigations. more..

Pakistan rejects Lankan land offer

Dec 20 (ANN) The government of Pakistan turned down Sri Lankan government's offer of a 116 block of prime land in the heart of Colombo as a grant. The offer was rejected on humanitarian grounds as it would displace hundreds of boutique and kiosk owners, Foreign Ministry sources said yesterday (Dec 19). more..

At the end of their tether

Dec 20 (ANN) The protest by the Muslim United Liberation Front (MULF) in Colombo on Friday (Dec 16) must cause the government to sit up and take a fresh look at the growing resentment of the Muslims, especially in the Eastern Province, who have had to bear the brunt of the LTTE violence spree. more..

Sri Lanka considering lifting bird flu ban on turkey imports

Dec 20 (LBO) Sri Lanka considering lifting bird flu ban on turkey imports, for a traditional Christmas. The health authorities banned all poultry imports including turkey, duck and chicken in October, to keep out bird flu from the island. more..

Ban the LTTE in EU demands PNM

Dec 20 (PIS) Ban the LTTE in EU was the battle cry of thousands of demonstrators led by the Patriotic National Movement at the Lipton Circus in Colombo yesterday. "It is high time that the European Union ban this ruthless terrorist organization that makes use of Europe and its resources to achieve their separatist aim. more..

Tsunami widowers struggle to pick up the pieces

Dec 20 (Reuters) When Ramakrishnan Shakthivel and his wife saw the tsunami bearing down on their house on Sri Lanka's east coast, they grabbed their three children and ran for their lives. It was too late. The wave slammed into their village, destroying their home and sweeping them away. It was the last time he saw his wife alive. more..

Withdraw armed forces from civilian inhabited areas in NE- TNA

Dec 20 (TN) The TNA in a statement tabled in parliament Tuesday demanded the government to withdraw all armed forces from all civilian inhabited areas in the North East. TNA further called the government to take disciplinary and legal action against all members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces who are responsible for the attack on Tamil civilians in Jaffna district in the last several days. more..

TNA MPs protest, pandemonium in SL Parliament

Dec 20 (TN) Pandemonium reigned in Parliament Tuesday morning when TNA parliamentarians protested and shouted slogans against the firing on the Tamil civilians in Jaffna Monday injuring several undergrads and university teachers when they were proceeding in a peaceful march to the office of the SLMM, sources said. more..

Tamil Tiger gunmen take one more prey

Dec 20 (SLA) A BUSINESSMAN resident in the general area of ANURADHAPURA junction in TRINCOMALEE was shot dead by LTTE gunman on Monday (19) around 7.15 p.m. The victim, H.M. CHANDRASIRI, was collecting money from some of his clients when the Tamil Tiger assassin, shot three pistol rounds in his chest killing the victim on the spot. more..

Ex-British Army soldier escapes death

Dec 20 (SLA) SUSPECTED TAMIL TIGER (LTTE) gunmen after visiting a 76-year old ex-serviceman in the general area of KUCHCHAVELI, about 35 north of TRINCOMALEE on Sunday (18) shot and injured him for reasons best known only to those gunmen. more..

Search operations recover arms & ammunition

Dec 20 (SLA) TROOPS, during a cordon and search operation in the general areas of SARASALAI north in JAFFNA on Monday (19) around 5.30 p.m. recovered a stock of arms and ammunition hidden inside a house. Troops recovered one improvised shot gun, five 7.62 mm ammunition, two shot gun cartridges and two unexploded 81 mm Mortar Shells from the inside of the house. more..

On the arrest of Journalist Parthipan

Dec 20 (FMM) The Free Media Movement condemns the arrest, detention, photographing and filming of of Mr.P.Parthipan, senior journalist and two computer technicians Messrs Kokulan and Sarveswaran of Tamil language news paper Thinakkural by Kirullapona police in Colombo 05, over a period of 12 hours in police custody. more..

SLMC welcomes govt.’s deviation from confrontational politics – Hassan Ali

Dec 20 (LM) The Secretary General of the SLMC speaking in Parliament on December 14, during the second reading of the budget and the debate said that "The ruling UPFA has created history by submitting two budget proposals within just two months, one before the presidential election and the other after the election". more..

Nearly 130,000 Colombo residents stripped of voting rights –– UNP

Dec 20 (LM) The names of nearly 130,000 persons, who cast their votes at the April 2004 parliamentary elections, had been deleted from the Colombo District electoral register, prepared for the recently concluded Presidential Election, the UNP alleged yesterday. more..

Mahinda may consider Oslo as venue

Dec 20 (LM) Despite continuous pressure from the key allies the JHU and the JVP, President Rajapakse is expected to consult his peace adviser and former head of the Government Peace Secretariat Jayantha Dhanapala on Oslo as the venue for peace talks with the LTTE. more..

India intervenes, President meets Thondaman talks

Dec 20 (LM) Amidst moves by the CWC to form an alliance with Tamil parties outside the North east to offer support to the cause of the LTTE, estate party leader Arumugam Thondaman also held extensive talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday evening. more..

'Don't tell lies' Ranil in row with rebels

Dec 20 (LeN) The meeting held yesterday between UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and the rebel group calling on him to step down from the Opposition and UNP leadership has turned out to be an edgy affair, well informed sources said. The leadership crisis in the party hitherto restricted to discussions has intensified into an exchange of letters. more..

Non-Cabinet Ministers only lack 'short eats'- Lal kantha

Dec 20 (LeN) JVP parliamentarian Lalkantha said in Parliament this afternoon (19) he reckons that Sri Lanka has the largest Cabinet of Ministers in the entire world and said it should be pruned down immediately. Lalkanatha pointed out that each Ministry has four Ministers with the Minister, the Non Cabinet Ministers and two Deputy Ministers. more..

Government pickpockets Provident Fund - Bandula

Dec 20 (LeN) As a result of government obtaining loans from the Employment Provident Fund at a low interest rate using treasury bills for government expenditure, the annual accrued interest to members of the Fund is gradually on the decline. more..

JVP calls for flexibility in peace approach and new mediators

Dec 20 (AT) Vijitha Herath, JVP ideologue, favors flexibility on the part of all concerned for a lasting solution to Sri Lanka's ethnic problem. He wants international pressure to be brought upon LTTE to be flexible and to freeze its arms supply sources. more..

Army unaware of an Army-LTTE talk ban

Dec 20 (AT) Following a recent statement made by Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake that the Army should not have direct dialogue with the LTTE, army sources have denied any knowledge of such a regulation. Officials attached to the Army's media unit told the "Asian Tribune," "We are not aware of such a regulation. We too learnt of this only from the media. more..

President asks two Ministers to resign from portfolios

Dec 20 (LT) It is learnt that Ministers Anwar Ismail and Rishad Badurdeen have been asked to resign from their portfolios. A letter in writing is to be sent by the President since the two Ministers were absent at the time of voting in Parliament yesterday following the second reading of the budget. more..